Amira guides each student through completing an assessment on the student's device. By default (and when assigned), the student will be given a passage at the student's grade level. Amira will adaptively re-level based on the student's performance on the first page of the passage.
The recommendation is that teachers assign the assessment the day before the student takes the assessment.
To prepare students for the assessment, students should be given an introduction to the feature in order to understand what to expect and what is expected of them.
✅ Modeling Checklist
Prior to students using Amira, students should become familiar with the purpose, instructions, logging in, and reading aloud and modulating their voice.
☐ Set the Purpose: Tell students that they will be reading aloud to a computer and that you will listen to their recordings to help you know what they can do, so they should try their best.
☐ Configure the Headset: Verify students have a headset with a working microphone at the appropriate volume settings. Students should speak clearly into the microphone ("say the sounds of the words you see") and keep their hands off the buttons and mic.
☐ Model: Use the video below to show students what they can expect on the assessment. Pause and think aloud as you review the instructions for the test. For example, say, "If the passage feels too tricky, you can say 'skip' or 'I don't know yet'." Or: "Make sure to click on the green arrow right when you finish reading the last sentence on the page." Additionally, show students this video for tips on reading with Amira when taking an assessment.
Use this video to introduce the Dyslexia Screener and assessment to students.
For grade-level specific assessment walkthroughs, use the following videos:
☐ Encourage a Growth Mindset: As you model, think aloud the behaviors you want students to exhibit when they get stuck or frustrated, such as "I may not know that word -- yet -- but I'm going to try my best and sound out the sounds I know." Tell them to make sure they are doing their very best reading. "Your teachers and parents will be able to hear the recordings and can’t wait to hear how you are growing as a reader!"
☐ Start Staggered & Spaced Out: Ask students to begin the assessment in "waves" -- this will prevent students from reading the same words at the same time, which can confuse them (and Amira if the students are sitting nearby one another)
☐ "Ask 3 Then Ask Me:" Model troubleshooting behaviors for what to do if:
Students are unable to log in or forget their password
The test says "good work" and logs them out at the end
An "I can't hear you" message comes up (this is likely a muted mic)
For more ideas, see How do I prepare devices?
See this video for a walkthrough:
Steps for Taking the Assessment
STEP 1: Building background knowledge before taking the assessment
Use the talking points and videos above to prepare students
Try the screener with a couple of students before testing the entire class as a whole group. This is particularly important with early readers or younger (K-1) students.
STEP 2: Logging in
Go to either the district's Single Sign-On (SSO) or HMH Ed (https://www.hmhco.com/ui/login/)
❗Note: International schools and after-school programs will have staff and students log in via https://www.amiratutor.com/, and type their username and password
Select Country, if needed
Enter District/Independent School (this field will appear after selecting State)
Follow additional instructions for logging in
STEP 3: Accessing the Microphone (if first time accessing Amira)
The first time an account accesses Amira on a device, the browser asks for permission to access the microphone. Learn more about allowing access to the microphone here.
Step 4: Completing the Assessment
If this is the first time Amira has been accessed on the device, Amira may take several minutes to load.
Amira will explain the directions for reading the passage including encouraging the student to try their best to read out loud, sound out unknown words, skip words, etc.
Amira will count down by saying Ready, Set, Start!
The student will read the passage aloud. The key here is to read fluently, without long pauses or interruptions. Encourage students to skip words they do not know and read loud enough for Amira to hear.
❗Note: A progress indicator along the bottom of the screen shows how many story pages have been completed. If the student is unable to progress through the passage, Amira automatically re-levels and chooses a different reading for the student
❗Note: The student should read out loud until the student completes the passage or when four minutes has elapsed, whichever comes first
When students get to the bottom of a page, click the green arrow to advance to the next page.
When the student has finished reading
Amira will thank the student for reading and will display a Great Work! screen
Amira automatically logs students out when the assessment session has saved. Best practice is to have the students keep their browser tab open for a minute to ensure the data saves